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HHS: 130,000 Medicare patients harmed monthly

A new report from the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that as 130,000 Medicare beneficiaries suffer an “adverse event” – a medical mistake or infection acquired in a hospital – per month. Looking beyond the appallingly high number itself, the estimate is shocking for two reasons: only 1 in 7 incidents are reported despite a Medicare requirement they all be reported, and the estimate undoubtedly is just a fraction of the total number of “adverse events” that occur in hospitals every month since it looked at Medicare beneficiaries alone.

An American Hospital: The Most Dangerous Place?, Time Magazine, January 9, 2012
Report: Most hospital errors go unreported, Fox News, January 6, 2012
Report finds most errors at hospitals go unreported, New York Times, January 6, 2012
Hospital employees rarely report harm to patients, National Journal, January 6, 2012

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